TransportCruises

Florida’s Key West debating on mass cruise tourism vs more highbrow select variety

Skift Take

The identity debate, playing out in various communities worldwide on sustainable tourism while retaining the local culture.

— Rafat Ali

Cruise ships and their day-tripping passengers are at the crux of a divisive debate over Key West’s identity and its path to the future.

Should Key West embrace its artsy, wealthier side and steer toward becoming a funkier version of Nantucket and the Hamptons? Or should it continue to stoke mass tourism, with its reliable stream of dollars but also its proliferating slogan-shouting T-shirt shops and trinket stores?

Residents will vote..next fall on whether to commission a three-year, $3 million feasibility study…to analyze the pros and cons of widening the main channel that leads to Key West’s three ports…Widening the channel is a necessary step in accommodating the industry’s latest and largest cruise ships, which require greater maneuverability to comfortably pull into Key West.

Tags: florida

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